Iowa and LSU break women’s basketball history

Iowa and LSU break womens basketball history

NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) March Madness has come to a conclusion, and the National Champions on both the women’s and men’s sides have been crowned. UCONN (University of Connecticut) won for the men, and LSU (Louisiana State University) won for the women. For the women’s bracket the 2023 March Madness was arguably one of the most historic NCAA tournaments yet. With 64 teams entering the first round, America had a few favorite teams making it to the end of the tournament. Starting with the National Champions, LSU, who had won the SEC, (southeastern conference) and were ranked third going into the tournament. Infamous head coach Kim Mullarky and her squad were an unstoppable powerhouse. Coach Mullarky filled her roster with nine new players that were selected from the transfer portal. Reigning 2022 National Champions, South Carolina GameCocks were another fan favorite this year. The Gamecocks made it to the final four and were knocked out by the Iowa Hawkeyes. 

Iowa has several standout players on their roster, but importantly junior Caitlin Clark made a huge statement this season for the Hawkeyes. Clark is the first-ever basketball player, man or woman, to ever record a triple-double while scoring 41 points in the history of the NCAA tournament. The lethal Hawkeye shooter also scored a total of 191 points throughout the tournament, scored over 40 points in back-to-back games (the first time this has ever happened in the Women’s tournament history), and broke all-time assist record in the tournament tallying 60 assists. Clark has been recognized by thousands of fans and NBA players as well: Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant to name a few. Clark will be eligible for the WNBA draft next year. 

LSU and Iowa faced off on Sunday, Apr 2. For an intense match. As the game progressed, both teams showed their skills and both teams were in foul trouble early on, especially Iowa. Clark, Monika Czinano, and McKenna Warnock were in foul territory, and the two senior forwards Warnock and Czinano fouled out. Jasmine Carson for LSU took off and had a team-high of 22 points. Five of the Tigers players scored in the double digits which led them to score 102 points. LSU broke the women’s NCAA tournament record for total points scored in the National Championship. It’s easy to say that not only was this tournament historic, but the National Championship game. 

There were 9.9 million viewers that tuned into the National Championship, breaking a television record. This was the most amount of viewers that tuned in to watch women’s basketball ever since Title Nine was introduced. This was a breakthrough for women’s basketball, and more people are starting to appreciate the women’s game more. Eaton High’s women’s basketball Head Coach Chris Love said, “As a coach of women’s basketball, it is exciting because more players are watching and it makes it easier for me to use examples from these games when explaining concepts.” Female athletics are starting to get more viewership throughout the NCAA and this is a pivotal point for women in sports. Not only women’s basketball is experiencing an increase in fans, but NCAA volleyball and softball have also broken viewership records within the past few years. Jaryn Guerra coaches several female athletes at EHS and said, “It is very inspiring to see an increase in viewership in female athletics, especially when female athletes are working just as hard as male athletes.”